Thirty million dollars doesn’t buy what it used to.
After months of campaigning, weeks of television ads and a fabricated grassroots effort never before seen in state political history, all Democrats in Wisconsin are left with is being now one seat shy of having the majority in the state Senate after winning two of the three recall elections Tuesday. If there is moral victory for Democrats, it is hard find.
The goal was control of the state Senate, and they didn’t get it. Last night was the main event, and no amount of political spin can say the efforts of Wisconsin Democrats weren’t from a lack of resources.
Of the two state Senate seats the Democrats did capture, they were the easy ones to predict. La Crosse’s Dan Kapanke was in trouble from the moment the recall movement began by simply being a Republican in a Democratic district. Fond du Lac’s Randy Hopper was bogged down by the implosion of his personal life that became public knowledge, yet he scratched and clawed back to a two-point loss. . . .
So after all the protests, unrest, threats, boycotts, intimidation and campaigning, Wisconsin voters decided that the path Gov. Scott Walker mapped out at least warrants further exploration. Last night’s elections will no doubt give great pause to any sort of movement to recall Walker as well. After all, if an investment the size Wisconsin saw these past few months wasn’t enough to get the job done, how much would have to be invested to stage a successful recall against a sitting governor, and how much after last night would those same groups be willing to spend?
For once, the left in Wisconsin should accept the decisions made last night by their fellow Wisconsinites as final. If last night showed us anything, it’s that voting is what democracy does indeed look like.